REM Stage 6: A Poetry Blog || julie niklas


hammering a chenille blanket to the wall in the middle of the night
12/23/2011, 10:06 PM
Filed under: Poetry, Writing | Tags: , , , ,

terrible things happened
between your fingers in my dreams:
it seemed I saw you twisting
cotton from its seeds

first

constructed the chenille
cotton twist fabric hem sew pull
the cataclysm of collected
parts becoming wholes

woke and took steel to iron to wood
sleep to skull to infinite
opening of eyes and metal noise
seeping into every stitch

stretched like boatsail to empty
wall where nothing was the same
nails rained to hardwood
stuck between the grains

it kept falling from its frame
never figured these fibers
would mimic softest physics
crocheted squares spread wider

then

sugar-sugar repulsion shook your
look here hook and sinker
and blinked not believing
you were leaving me in the lake

said stay silken cinderblock
mockingbird foot in mouth
mammoth mirror image
miss mothers and surfaces

toes cold staccato silted
sold secret congruencies
of sink and swim and stolen
hands for treading water

blackout and backtracked
nighttime highways
bleary sunday boulevards
searching riverbanks

and

drowned in water well
dream deep as solid mud
down and out of light
felt for the bucket and tugged

so

woke up to cricked neck
moon and hammer in elbow crook
snuck eyes around circumference
numbers of the clock you took

between my fingers
hold thoughts like snails
or nails meant to hold you
either way maintain trails

remember you rolling
fringe between your fingers
flaking from the threads
only crumbles ever lingered

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Two Men Walk Into a Bar
08/03/2009, 2:29 AM
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

Draft one, some typos, whatever. Havent written a long poem in a while, going for somethin different.
What do you think?

Two men
walk into a bar.
One man has a broken arm
and cradles the sling
against his chest. He has a short beard
and hasn’t shaved, and hunches over.
The other man is tall, thick, and
well-shaven. He wears a Yankees
baseball cap, which he tips upwards as he smiles
at a lady in a green party dress sitting
at the end of the bar nearest the door with
a half-empty glass of scotch, and
several empty ones.
The door clicks shut behind the two men,
inaudible under the saxophone’s croon.
The lady in the green dress pats
the stool beside her and grins
at the one in the cap. Her name is
Linda Something, she’s twenty-nine, single,
and he orders her another drink,
and one for himself.
The scrawny man moves away from the door
and takes a seat at the
far end of the bar next to
an old man who’s drinking himself to the grave.
He doesn’t order anything, but rests his
elbows on the countertop, and gazes into
the reflection in the polyeurethane slick.
The bar is not well lit. There
are several low-wattage hanging lamps, and
some orange-toned sconces on each
end of the shelves behind the counter. The lights
play off the green and white bottles, and
the old man mumbles something
about how it “looks like a train tunnel in here,”
because he is old and has poor eyesight.
The yankee and Linda Something are
laughing, and the laughter carries
across the room. The man with the
broken arm waves the bartender over
and asks for the strongest he’s got
and the bartender sets a napkin down,
then pours him two.
He thanks him and pulls the glasses closer
as the other man and Linda get up
and walk out into the night. He watches the
door close and downs one of his glasses,
winces at the burn, and fulfills
his obligation to the remaing one, then
takes his wallet from his back pocket, grabs
the wad of bills and tosses it in the saxophonist’s case,
who stops playing and flashes him a half-toothless smile
and continues playing all his jazz.
The man walks out and leans against the brick,
strikes a match on it with
his good hand and lights a cigarette. He stands
looking at the moon until a cloud drifts
over it, and his smoke cloud
drifts over him, hiding him from the drunks that walk out.
It’s a cloudy sort of night.

(Should I include this as an ending and take off that last line, or not? Does it add to it or take away, or do you think it’s just plain stupid?)
[The joke is that
the two men who walked into the bar
in hte first place didn’t know each other,
and it was the one with the broken arm
who opened the door for the yankee,
and the yankee took his girl.]



Nights with Other People
07/22/2009, 12:37 AM
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

It was already dark when we got the
marshmallows out, and we sat around
the carnelian flames under the stars that
looked like powdered sugar on burnt toast,
and even though we were near the city we could see them
because we couldn’t see
anything but lights in our dark places. And we
kept those dark places to ourselves, clasped to
our breasts, warming like solid silver on our skin, and
melting the closer we brought them to the fire.
We passed the bag around more like it was
a jewelry box with pearls than plastic and marshmallows
and we skewered each one right
through the center, sometimes three or four at a time
because it didn’t matter if they stuck together,
just that we got to have sticky on our
fingers and around our lips so that when
we laughed we could feel the dried sugar
stretch on our faces like a second skin. In the dark,
with the fire glowing up onto our fronts, we knew
how close to burning and how brown everyone’s
marshmallows were, but could see
only silhouettes of our own turning
over the heat, and it was comforting
that no one else could see the dark places
we saw in ourselves.